Nirman Association of the Parents of the Mentally Handicapped
More than a decade ago, parents of some of the mentally handicapped children in Hyderabad came together to form Nirman Association for the Mentally Handicapped as a non-profit organization registered under the Societies Registration Act. The Association has the main objective of rehabilitating those with mental disability by focusing on and developing their differential abilities and making them useful members of the Society.
Nirman Association is running a center for special education and vocational training cum production (Nirman) and a home for the handicapped (Sahavas), both located in Hindustan Machine Tools (HMT) Township in Balanagar, Hyderabad.
Thanks to the sponsorship and support of HMT Management, Nirman is functioning successfully since 1994. It presently has 29 wards, mostly boys, who are undergoing training in functional academics, social and communication skills and various vocational activities.
Under vocational activities the wards are taught to make stationery items and screen-printing (Nirman Association is planning to purchase an offset printer to meet the growing demand for the printing services, after raising the necessary resources).
Tie and dye is the latest addition to the curriculum.
These activities have ingrained essential work traits, such as, punctuality, independent travel, teamwork, focusing on a task and completing it in time, safety skills etc. among the special employees.
Nirman also believes in self-advocacy. A definite time is set aside for daily discussion where the special employees are encouraged to form an opinion on various subjects and activities, through group discussions, skits etc. They are also taught life skills, enabling them to be self-dependent, thus enhancing their acceptance among family members and outsiders.
Nirman also devotes considerable time to games and sports. Excursions to interesting and informative places in around Hyderabad are a regular feature.
Nirmanians are also exposed to a variety of activities, such as, participation in polio immunization, group running for social causes, participation in sports and cultural activities etc to enrich their perception of the environment around them.
So far 17 mentally handicapped youth, trained by Nirman, have been recruited by various outside organizations, which is a reflection of the efforts of the staff and the hidden potential of the disabled.
Nirman Association has also started Sahavas, a Home for the mentally handicapped, in the vicinity of Nirman. Sahavas is sponsored by National Trust, Government of India and has the capacity to accommodate 20 youths. It is located in a spacious accommodation, surrounded by lush green environ, offering excellent facilities for comfortable living, and opportunities for overall growth of its wards.
Sahavas offers scope for outdoor activities, such as, gardening, games etc and has fostered excellent camaraderie among the wards.
Visitors to Nirman and Sahavas always remark about the unity and harmony and the synergy evident in the atmosphere, which is a reflection of the hard work, dedication and degree of involvement of the management, staff and the wards.
The contribution of Nirman and Sahavas are all the more significant because most of the wards of both the institutions belong to poor families (two of them are destitute, with no parents)
Lack of financial resources is a big constraint with the two institutes. Donor support would help the institute to grow faster and help more and more handicapped persons, belonging to the poorer sections of the Society. Nirman is registered with Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, and thus eligible to receive overseas grants. Contributions to Nirman Association are also eligible for income tax relief.